Indi vs. Mainstream

Is it just me or do Indi game designers seem much more hardcore then major mainstream developers?
I recently read a couple of articles about Indi gaming and the discussions and courses they have on it is incredible. They seem to have such a large pool of knowledge and so many ideas about what gaming should be in contrast to what we see mainstream developers as. In the article they were talking about how they saw gaming as art and how they could reflect this. It was very interesting and slightly confusing seeing as their ideas and concepts were so 'original' and different to what we see all the time in gaming.

I'm thinking when an Indi game designer sees something like Crysis that cry into their tea at the thought of not having the same resources as the people at crytek, while the people that do have the resources waste it on such an eye-candy centered game. It got me thinking about where do the mainstream developers come from? How do they become so different to the Indi guys? Is it the large gaming companies who just tell them what to do or they lose their jobs? I'm curious.


Thallian said...

Well, a mainstream dev is interested in grabbing as much of the market as they can and avoiding risks, just like it said in my recent blog post where I linked that one Gamasutra article... Of course there are a few who do neat new things, like Valve or High Voltage but basically success breeds risk aversion because you want to keep having sure wins and not have your company go under. A risky venture can and sometimes does fail and depending on how much cash your company has, just one might bring you under, or a few sub par performing ones could lead to a buy out. Anyways, its a dog eat dog world out there and the indy ones can be so creative because they just make stuff on a shoestring budget, many as a second job. I hope that helps a little

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